In the Field
Violence and Instability in Kenya
Following the 2007 elections in Kenya, more than 1,000 people lost their lives and an estimated 350,000 were displaced. Insecurities about rising economic inequalities, unemployment especially among youth, unaddressed ethnic grievances and fear of renewed violence in Kenya’s upcoming elections exacerbate the likelihood of such conflict, and continue to foster hostility and mistrust.
Ultimately, building peace and reducing the risk of violence, particularly around elections in Kenya, means providing communities with the tools and knowledge to address grievances, build solid relationships with government and security actors and create space for redress and reform.
Building Safe and Peaceful Communities
The violence prevention project is a partnership between the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, Cissta Kenya and Chemchemi Ya Ukweli – both community-based peacebuilding organizations in Nairobi and working in communities which have been and continue to be impacted by extreme violence following the post-election violence of 2008.
The primary goal of the project is to reduce levels of violence, encourage dialogue and facilitate cooperation by building community capacity in violence prevention. The project is focused on Mathare, Korogocho and Kibera, three particularly vulnerable communities in the Nairobi area.
Photo courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries,
University of Texas at Austin
Training of Trainers in Community Conflict Resolution and Mobilization
The IPJ – in partnership with Cissta and Chemchemi Ya
Ukweli – conducted a baseline survery to map out public perceptions of
violence and the root causes of conflict in each community, and provided an intensive
on-the-ground training of trainers with Cissta volunteers from each community.
The trainings covered skills and tools in conflict resolution, violence
mitigation, community mobilization and action planning, and strategies for
Over the month of March 2012, Cissta volunteers conducted two-day trainings in their respective communities, focused on building an understanding of conflict and violence, and addressing issues of conflict in their communities order to reduce the risk of violence.
In April 2012, IPJ Program Officer Zahra Ismail returned to Nairobi to conduct one day follow up trainings with community participants to identify risk issues in each community and begin to develop prevention strategies and contingency plans to respond to these issues when they arise.
In November 2012, in response to an identified need to address the tenuous relationship between youth and security actors the IPJ and it's partners hosted a 2-day forum entitled Building Alliances: Working Together to Prevent Violence. The forum brought youth and community participants together with high level civil society, government and police in order to build bridges and develop collaborative plans for mitigating violence in time for the March 2013 elections.
The IPJ plans to continue the dialogue process started between youth and security actors in Nairobi as new funding is secured.
For more information about the IPJ’s work in Kenya, please contact Program Officer Zahra Ismail.Click here to read the project blog.